Dutch parliament agreed with a request to this effect from local authorities, who had made it known that expenses of bicycle parking facilities at railway stations was too much for them alone and had argued for sharing these expenses, in equal parts, with NS (the service provider) and Prorail, which manages the network.
This decision means that the responsibility for adequate bicycle parking facilities at railway stations is now shared between ProRail, NS, regional public transport and the local councils. All parties will contribute financially to the construction, management, upkeep, operating and maintenance of bike parking at railway stations. The cost will have to be shared ‘equally’ between the parties concerned. It is expected that a detailed agreement will be reached within a year.
In Utrecht, NS, Prorail and the city of Utrecht signed a two-year agreement concerning the bicycle parking at the Jaarbeursplein (opened in May). For the time being, only the operating of the parking will be shared equally between the three parties. The pilot will look at the best possible way of operating the bicycle parking, assessing convenience, occupancy and financial matters. Based on the outcome of the pilot, the three parties aim to come to an agreement on a permanent split of the cost. The new underground parking in Utrecht is free for the first 24 hours, checking-in is done electronically with the OV Card (public transport chip card) and the system also provides information on the number of available spaces. At the moment, the occupancy rate for the parking is above 80%.